Money Talks And Practicality: Why Passion Is Still Hard Work

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Pursuing passion as a career is still hard work and should be met with equal respect and pay.

Related: What Happened On The Very First Labor Day In The Philippines?

“Choose a job you love, and you will never have to work a day in your life,” is an old saying that has been taught to us since we were young. From the moment we ticked the box on our university application forms to family relatives trying to influence our career choices, one had to choose between passion or practicality. The main advice was to choose the practical–a high salary job that could secure a safe future first, before making time for what we are passionate about. 

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The idea of passion was always inspiring to me because isn’t it the goal to have a career you just can’t get enough of instead of one that you’re dreading to wake up to each day? But during a pandemic, the once endearing career land turned into an arena where one had to be smart to survive. Companies started to lay off and employees felt lost on how to navigate through finding a decent job.

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The notion of forgetting about salaries and expectations doesn’t seem to be appropriate anymore. They say money can’t buy happiness, but it can buy you security to simply live. As someone who now works in the industry she’s been dreaming of as a child, I learned that you don’t have to choose one or the other because in reality it has to be both. It’s perfectly normal to love your job and simultaneously recognize the fact that it’s hard work.

Here’s why passion is still work and why it should be treated as such:

1. Work Now, Play Later?

Evidence-based career advice says that employees who are passionate about what they do will be both be happier and more productive at work. I have the privilege to have a job that equates to my passion and provides for my needs, but similar to many, there are days that it can feel stressful and overwhelming. Occasional burnouts can also happen when one’s personally invested in the job however, this doesn’t mean that it’s the wrong career move.

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Living your dream job still comes along with tasks and responsibilities that are less enjoyable than the others. May it be filling out expense reports or crunching to meet deadlines, whatever it is, it comes with the job and as much as work can seem like play, it’s also hard work. 

2. Money Talk

Financial transparency is a taboo topic especially here in the Philippines, even I admit am still learning to be comfortable with it. But with the recent celebration of Labor Day, many spoke up about the pay inequality and wage discrimination present in our job market. Filipinos are passionate employees but that also makes us vulnerable to taking on tasks that fall outside of narrow job descriptions without proper compensation.

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Women are also prone to be victims of the gender pay gap because of salary secrecy. By being able to openly talk money with our family, friends and colleagues, we also learn to stop undervaluing Filipino workers and start demanding livable salaries. 

3. Every Work Should Be Worth It

There’s a deeply rooted presumption that employees who ask for more pay are demanding and those who choose not to is humble. However, this shouldn’t be the case because passion-driven employees should also be met with a decent and comfortable standard of living.

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Being able to negotiate or decline jobs because of the salary given should be valid, it simply shows that you’re fully aware of your skills and the value of your work.